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Proč nahrávat svůj pokrok v angličtině

Yveta se mnou s přestávkami studuje už 5 let. A za tu dobu udělala tak velký posun a tak se do angličtiny zamilovala, že o ní občas ráda u mě na webu i bloguje. A já jí moc ráda přenechávám prostor, protože zkušenosti, které sdílí, jsou neocenitelné a pro spoustu studentů angličtiny velmi přínosné.

Její předchozí rady si můžete přečíst v článcích “How to learn English with podcasts” a “Jak na angličtinu na mateřské“.

A tady je ten dnešní – o tom, proč je fajn nahrávat se a sledovat svůj pokrok.

There are many of us who have very few or zero opportunities to speak English. But what to do if you really want to improve?

Speaking to yourself can be a good way to go about it, and I’d like to share my experience of improving my English this way. Specifically recording my progress.

FIRST RULE: make sure you speak out loud. It is really easy to hit the button on your phone and speak for five minutes or so.

But how to make such recordings? And what to talk about?

Read and watch the inspiration below…


HOW TO RECORD

Your mobile phone is probably your best friend here. Find a dictation app, it may be part of your general setup, on iOS it’s “Voice Memos”. If you want to make video recordings, you look for a “video recorder” in your app store.

You can use your laptop or PC too, in case you have an integrated or remote web camera. Windows 8 and later should offer you an application called Camera as part of a default system installation, which means no additional work for you. The similar solution is included on the Mac platform via QuickTime Player. You should keep in mind that these videos are large and need a lot of storage space.

 

BEFORE / AFTER

Making videos Before and After courses is the absolute minimum. Yes, it is awful to watch yourself struggling, making mistakes and looking at your funny face on the screen. But it’s worth it, I swear! You may have doubts about your progress. Watch both of the videos and you can see the real change.

You do not attend courses? Never mind, do it anyway and repeat after a couple of months. I bet you will see progress too.

What to speak about? Describe your goals, define what you expect to improve. In the After video revise your goals, maybe disclose what helped to make it a success.

Video BEFORE, February 2017 (1:32)

Video AFTER, May 2017 (1:37)

PRACTICE SPEAKING

A very specific use of recording audio/video of yourself is as preparation for (job) interviews. Write down potential questions (but not answers). Answer them one by one. Do it repeatedly, try different ways how to say what you need. Make a couple of recordings on different days. Your answers in the interview will be reflexive and spontaneous and that’s a good start for the rest of the conversation.

Recordings will help you to prepare other presentations too. Especially if you need to memorize the content. But do not forget – the best is to show your recording to someone to get feedback – about your presentation skills, the proper vocabulary or pronunciation.

No need to practice something particular? Recordings will help you boost your overall confidence in speaking. Repeat the typical phrases you usually need to use – like introduction, explaining what you do for a living, what you do to relax or imagine fake orders in a restaurant. What else can you do?

 

IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS

Recordings have unique benefits – you can watch / listen to them and work with them later. You can zoom on these:

  • revise grammar – watch / listen to the recording and write down the wrong tenses, missing articles and other grammar problems. Search for useful material to correct yourself. Make another audio / video explaining your mistakes.
  • listen to pronunciation – sounds weird? not sure how to say it? Find a couple of recordings on the internet (for example on Youglish) and compare, or ask someone to correct you.
  • find the best expression – were you stuck in one particular expression? Take time to think about the best way to describe what you meant.
  • reduce redundant words – Write down words you repeat a lot. Use Thesaurus to find synonyms, pick the best ones and use them in context.

 

It doesn’t matter whether you choose recording an audio or a video. Just make sure to save your effort. Eventually, it will become a habit and it’s amazing to review this proof that you improved a year or so later.

There’s nothing better than hearing your improvement, it’s the best motivation to keep working more and make learning a neverending habit. It’s worth it!

 

Good luck and happy speaking!

Yveta and Nina ❤️

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